Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Salon Kitty (1976)

The movie opens in an elegantly decorated salon with Madame Kitty (played masterfully by Ingrid Thulin) taking center stage in a gender-bending song number, while a bevy of prostitutes entertain their clients. Set in 1930’s Berlin, this Nazisploitation flick follows the decline of a high-class brothel during World War II.

Power hungry SD chief Wallenberg (Helmut Berger) orders the recruitment of 20 beautiful women, loyal socialists, to work as spies. Young Margherita (Teresa Ann Savoy), who comes from an affluent family with strong socialist ideals, joins this group of women whose duty, according to a Nazi officer, was to “refuse nothing.”

De rigueur of films in this genre, there is a lot of perverse sex going on- the recruits are subjected to a salvo of lurid acts of depravity: bondage, sadism, orgies, sex with an amputee, a hairy brute, a midget. The women who pass these bizarre tests will become whores moonlighting as spies; those who don’t make it are promptly eliminated.

Wallenberg seizes control of the brothel, and replaces Madame Kitty’s whores. They are now housed in a different building, where microphones are hidden in almost every corner, and their every move recorded, unbeknownst to Kitty. Wallenberg intended to use the information on German officers and foreign diplomats to his end- blackmail and power-grabbing. Left with no other options, Kitty accepts, grooms and teaches the girls the arts of pleasing a man.

September 1939, Germany declares war against Poland. The wave of atrocities against Jews are shown in sequences, equaling the brutality and horror with a particular scene that left me disturbed- a slaughterhouse where pigs were suspended on meat hooks while men gouged their eyes or gutted their necks and a endless river of blood staining the floor. In the same scene, women were molested by the butchers, followed by macabre laughter.

It’s business as usual for Kitty. Margherita meets Hans, a ruggedly handsome pilot on leave from the front lines. He awakens her sensuality and the two start seeing each other outside the brothel. Hans reveals that he is reluctant to return to war, resolving later on to revert to the other side, and fight against Hitler. “Man belongs to humanity”, he says to Margherita, “not to a country, race, or religion.” Somewhat smitten by the soldier’s charms, Margherita makes no mention of this in her report.

However, Wallenburg still learns of the pilot’s plan from the recordings, and confronts Margherita. He himself fancied the girl, despite already having a wife. Later on, a comrade of Hans who solicited Margherita’s services told her of Hans’ fate- he was hanged on a meat hook for unpatriotism. Margherita shoots the man for mocking her lover, and she leaves the brothel to return home.

One by one, Kitty’s prostitutes fall. One got pregnant and wanted to keep the baby, but the Germans decided that she was to be eliminated. A girl dies from a seizure, while another takes her life.

Meanwhile, Margherita is now singing a different tune at home and is now defiant against socialist ideals. When Kitty visits her, the two eventually uncover the truth: that the brothel had been monitored all along, and that was how the Wallenberg learned of Hans’ plan to defect. The two hatch a plan to expose Wallenberg.

Armed with a recorder, Margherita seduces Wallenberg and manages to record his revelation that his wife’s grandfather is a Jew, and of his plans to use the secrets of German soldiers to gain power. She submits this to a higher ranking officer, who immediately sent orders to eliminate Wallenberg.

Wallenberg is caught in a bath house and shot in the chest. As he lay on the floor naked, bloodied, and dying, Margherita and Kitty toasted to the success of their plans with champagne. But the whorehouse is bombed, sending a shower of a million broken glass, and a thunderous shudder as the walls crumbled around them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tears for Fears

In the past, dry eye syndrome was treated with nothing more than artificial tears. Unfortunately, that measure only provided a short span of relief. Luckily for patients now, there are modern, full-service opthalmology clinics such as Stahl Eye Center which offer RESTASIS. This is indicated to treat dry eye syndrome in patients undergoing laser vision correction (called LASIK)

Through these innovative approaches to correcting vision problems, Stahl Eye Center remains the leader in cutting edge technology in opthalmology. Clinics are located in Manhattan and Long Island.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is This Site (SJPLLAH) Funny or Too Mean?

You decide.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beyonce Should Quit After Watching this DIVA

"She would've heard all the warning creaks and cracks coming from the coffee table if she hadn't been trying to belt out that generic R&B power ballad. " --silenceiseasy85

Window Seat

My room is on the second floor of our house, facing east. Each morning I’d be the first among the family to see the sun rise, feel the breeze filtering through the canopy of the java plum and tamarind trees in our front yard, blowing softly through my window.This is what I love about living in the province. I look out the window and I see green all around me. Even within the five hundred square meters of our lot, the foliage is lush.

This is a stark contrast to the concrete jungle which is Manila- the sun reflecting on tin roofs, the six lane expressways, and a sea of concrete around malls and dusty buildings. I’ve never gotten used to the environment, even after having lived there for nine years.

For the past year, I’ve flown to Manila a dozen times- always seated by the window by request. Right after take-off or just before landing, when the plane is hovering just below the clouds, the sprawling landscape is visible and spread magnificently before you.If the destination is Manila I’d know just by looking: a large gray expanse. Dark waters of the Pasig river snaking through the metro, emptying to the muddy delta, where ships of every size bob on the water surface of Manila bay. And everywhere- buildings, subdivisions, squatter’s areas, skyways, posh neighborhoods beside a clump of shanties, and a convoluted network of roads, all gray or black from the asphalt.When I was a student at the College of Architecture at the State U, we used to make small models of our site development plan. We made trees from foam and wire, painted with several hues of green. Buildings were either made from cardboard or plastic, and now and then a solitary matchbox would find its way to our carefully penciled-in and painted road. We shaped every terrain with our own ingenuity and artistry, and stopped to scrutinize our work every step of the way until we finished.
In the few seconds before the plane taxied on the runway, the landmarks were now closer, and therefore a lot more details were visible. I saw cars moving to and fro the drop off of a large SM mall, large factories spewing black smoke in the distance, imposing monuments which dwarfed those around it, and people moving. From a great distance they looked like ants in an anthill.

From that distance everyone was anonymous, nameless, and faceless. From that distance I realized we really were nothing more than a speck in the universe. The testament of man’s ingenuity- these edifices, his dwelling, his industries, may have marred the landscape but had its limits. From this distance it was difficult to appreciate that these kilometers of grid like streets were a product of hundreds of years of labor.

I sat on the airport taxi, as it sped through the highway along houses, shops, and buildings. They were giants now, dwarfing me. I was on the ground again, away from home, and ready to live man’s great day-to-day dramas.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

No Frills Guide to Earning Money Online

You’ve probably heard of people claiming to have earned money online through their websites. You imagine big bucks rolling in every month, and yet have you ever really asked yourself how it works?

I’ve had friends asking how they can earn money online, and believe me I’ve tried a lot of things already. The thing is, one must be very careful because cyberspace is crawling with frauds and get-rich-quick scams. These are some of my tips based on experience:

Tip # 1: Beware of bogus websites.

Transacting business online can be very tricky because laws have not exactly covered internet crimes. It doesn’t help that these scammers can disappear without a trace.

I once joined a site which promised to pay $7 per survey, which sounded very promising. I answered all surveys, which was supposed to have earned me $40 but the catch was, $75 was the minimum withdrawal amount. A month passed and there were no more surveys to answer, thus no more opportunities to earn except through referrals. But as I neared the minimum withdrawal amount my account was blocked.

When I researched about the website, there were a multitude of similar complaints as it turned out. We were scammed. The modus was that each time one answered a “survey” about a website (all owned by the scammer), your hits would increase the ranking and value of those sites. Then by referring others, they do the same thing which perpetuates the scam. In the end not one of you gets paid a single centavo.

Tip # 2: Blog about a variety of things and you’ll get a wider audience.

I started selling ad space on my blog by accident. I checked my mailbox one day to find several offers of text links. I was doubtful at first- one lady offered $75 for two text links for a year. All I had to do was to post those links on my sidebar. I did receive money through my Paypal account days after I agreed to put up the link. The other offers were for adult toys, so I declined (doesn’t go well with my content!).

Your site is usually ranked and its earning potential is affected by backlinks, hits, even Technorati authority. Forgive me because I’m not really that much of an expert on these jargons, but I do know touching on a wide variety of topics will attract more visits to your blog.

Tip # 3 Know the legit sites.

Here are my tried-and-tested money earning sites: Linkworth , Google Adsense, Payperpost, Blogsvertise, and Infolinks. I’ve actually seen the money I’ve earned from these sites so I know they can be trusted.

First off, I’ll give a bit of a background on how bloggers earn througn ads. Text links are ads which consist simply on a link which is placed on your sidebar- most advertisers, by the way, prefer that you place it in such a way that it is not an obvious advertisement. Bloggers may be paid to write maybe a 200 or 300 word post (depending on the specifications set) plus link on a topic that they want. Again, they prefer it that you do not disclose it is a paid post. Other sites like Infolinks does its work on its own after installation- it coverts the text on your blog to links that readers can click.

Linkworth is by far the company I’ve earned the most. They have a very responsive support team which can answer your concerns should you have difficulties. There are so many possible products you can come up with from banners to partnerships, but the ones I use the most are Linktext and Linkpost. I receive a decent sum of money each month for the text links, while the link posts are usually $25, so I try to accept as much as I can.

If you are using the Blogger platform, then installing Google Adsense is as easy as clicking “monetize” in the dashboard. Specify your ads then simply monitor your income now and then. You earn whenever someone clicks those ads, but be careful- cheating (i.e. clicking your own ads) may cause you to be blacklisted or banned.

Payperpost and Blogsvertise work in the same manner- once you’ve signed up with them, they usually alert you by e-mail when a client fancies your blog. Then you reply if you are interested in their offer. You create a blog post according to their specifications, then submit it for their approval. When it is approved, you get paid. Depending on the company, the payout is usually specified (you usually don’t get it the moment you submit a post) for example it could be at the end of each month. I’m not choosy because I want to maximize my earnings haha, anyway my blog isn’t exactly a literary beacon by any stretch of imagination, so might as well make money.

Regarding Infolinks, I’ve already explained how it works in the preceding paragraphs. So there, that’s about some of the basic information you need to start earning. Good luck!


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